UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 01 Fall 14 Library
Photo: Aaron Sutten

Virginia Repertory Theatre Partnership

An exciting collaboration between the MFA Acting Program in the Department of Drama and Richmond’s Virginia Repertory Theatre is bridging the gap between academic work and professional experience, and paying dividends for participants and audiences alike. Last year, graduate actors Brad Fraizer and Amaree Cluff took the VRT stage to perform leading roles in Tartuffe, which earned Cluff her membership in Actors’ Equity Association (Fraizer was already a member). Sandi Carroll, already an Equity member, and Mike Long wowed audiences in Other Desert Cities. The production, which earned Long his Equity card, showcased the collaboration in a unique way when he and Carroll “attended” their U.Va. graduation via Skype from the VRT green room! Program Director Colleen Kelly and colleague Doug Grissom worked with VRT leadership Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway to create the Inaugural Playwrights’ Weekend, in which new plays were developed over the course of the semester in both Charlottesville and Richmond, then presented in staged readings at the VRT by actors from both cities. And, during his visit to VRT, Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) traveled to U.Va. for a Q&A with Department of Drama students.

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